Welcome to the Keck Laboratory for Network Physiology

Director: Prof. Plamen Ch. Ivanov

The human organism is an integrated network where complex physiologic

systems, each with its own regulatory mechanisms, continuously interact,

and where failure of one system can trigger a breakdown of the entire network.

A new field, Network Physiology, is needed

to probe the network of interactions among diverse physiologic systems.

Our research program is supported by a generous award from the W. M. Keck Foundation.

Who we are

We are a unique team of statistical physicists, neuroscientists, applied mathematicians and biomedical engineers.

We develop new data science methodology, perform empirical analysis on large-scale physiological databases and model the dynamics of complex physiological systems.

We aim to understand basic mechanisms of physiologic control and address the fundamental question of how organ systems dynamically interact and collectively behave as a network to produce health or disease.

Research Areas

News and Updates

Led by Prof. Plamen Ch Ivanov of Boston University, Frontiers in Network Physiology aims to establish a new conceptual framework to investigate the physiological coordination and network interactions among diverse organ systems and sub-systems. Learn more:

The focus of this summer institute is to integrate empirical and theoretical knowledge across disciplines with the aim to understand in different contexts -- from extensive data analyses and modeling approaches to clinical practice -- how diverse physiological systems and subsystems dynamically interact as a network to produce health and disease.

This event follows the inaugural international meeting on Network Physiology, ISINP 2017.

Prof. Plamen Ch. Ivanov gave the keynote opening talk entitled "The New Field of Network Physiology: Redefining Sleep and Wake Through Networks of Organ Interactions", at the 24th Annual Meeting of the German Sleep Society, 2016, Dresden, Germany, 2 Dec. 2016, to an audience of 2300 medical and clinical specialists and health industry representatives.


New Journal of Physics

Special Issue (2014-2016)

Focus on Network Physiology and Network Medicine

The first focus issue in the literature devoted to Network Physiology and Network Medicine. Including 26 original publications it was one of the largest and most successful focus issues published in NJP .


The Laboratory for Network Physiology actively supports openness and transparency in scientific communication. Our close collaboration with Open Scholar (http://www.openscholar.org.uk), an international organization of research scholars promoting open science, testifies to our commitment to ethical and socially responsible academic practices.

In the Media

Distinct brain waves interact as a network to generate physiological states and functions

Study in Nature Communication Biology identifies an "alphabet" of coupling forms among cortical rhythms and their network communications.

Research lead by Plamen Ch. Ivanov credited with founding the field of Network Physiology

BU Physicists creating a new, math-driven field of medicine

First Atlas of Dynamic Interactions among Organ Systems

Boston University Research Story

Other Media Reports

Visitors and Seminars

Prof. Barry C. Barish, LIGO Lab, Division of Physics, Mathematics and Astronomy, Caltech, and Nobel Prize Laureate in Physics (2017) for decisive contributions to the LIGO detector and the observation of gravitational waves, visited our group on April 24th, 2018 to discuss the emerging field of Network Physiology.

Prof. Arkady Pikovsky, Chairman, Institute of Physics and Astronomy, University of Potsdam, Germany, visited our lab and discussed Network Physiology on March 15th, 2018.

Prof. Jörn Dunkel, Department of Mathematics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, visited our lab and discussed Network Physiology on November 28th, 2017.

Prof. Alexander Neiman, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Neuroscience Program, Ohio University, visited our lab and gave a talk on "Collective stochastic oscillations and signal detection in tree networks of excitable elements" on November 6th, 2017.

Prof. Louis M. Pecora, head of section for Magnetic Materials and Nonlinear Dynamics in the Materials and Sensors branch, United States Naval Research Laboratory, visited our lab and gave a talk on "How to Synchronize Chaotic Systems" on October 17th, 2017.

Mayu Kamide, Associate Producer, and Yuji Maruyama, Director of Science and Environment at NHK Japan Broadcasting Corporation, who work on a new ``NHK Special'' documentary TV series with focus on the human body, visited our lab to discuss Network Physiology on July 21st, 2016.

Prof. David Simpson, Head of Human Sciences Group, Engineering and the Environment Department, University of Southampton, UK, visited our group and gave a talk on "Approaches to cerebral autoregulation: time-variability and repeatability of the cerebral autoregulation measures" on June 27th, 2016.

Prof. Arthur McDonald, Department of Physics, Engineering Physics and Astronomy, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada, and Nobel Prize Laureate in Physics (2015) for the discovery of neutrino oscillations and for demonstrating that neutrinos have mass, visited our group on April 26th, 2016 to discuss the emerging field of Network Physiology.

Recent Publications

Garcia-Retortillo S, Rizzo R, Wang JWJL, Sitges C, Ivanov PCh.

Universal spectral profile and dynamic evolution of muscle activation: a hallmark of muscle type and physiological state. [PDF]

Journal of Applied Physiology. 2020; 129(3):419-41.

Lin A, Liu KKL, Bartsch RP, and Ivanov PCh.

Dynamic network interactions among distinct brain rhythms as a hallmark of physiologic state and function. [PDF]

(Supporting Information [PDF])

Nature Communications Biology, 2020; 3: 197.

Podobnik B, Korošak D, Klemen MS, Stožer A, Dolenšek J, Rupnik MS, Ivanov PCh, Holme P, and Jusup M.

β Cells Operate Collectively to Help Maintain Glucose Homeostasis, [PDF]

(Supporting Information [PDF])

Biophysical Journal, 2020; 118: 1-8

Lombardi F, Gómez-Extremera M, Bernaola-Galván P, Vetrivelan R, Saper CB, Scammell TE, and Ivanov PCh

Critical dynamics and coupling in bursts of cortical rhythms indicate non-homeostatic mechanism for sleep-stage transitions and dual role of VLPO neurons in both sleep and wake. [PDF]

Journal of Neuroscience, 2020, 40(1), pp.171-190.

Wang JWJL, Lombardi F, Zhang X, Anaclet C, and Ivanov PCh.

Non-equilibrium critical dynamics of bursts in θ and δ rhythms as fundamental characteristic of sleep and wake micro-architecture. [PDF]

(Supporting Information [PDF])

PLOS Computational Biology 15(11): e1007268.

dos Santos Lima GZ, Lobao-Soares B, Corso G, Belchior H, Lopes SR, de Lima Prado T, Nascimento G, de França AC, Fontenele-Araújo J, and Ivanov PCh

Hippocampal and cortical communication around micro-arousals in slow-wave sleep. [PDF]

Scientific Reports, 2019, 9(1), p.5876.

Dvir H, Elbaz I, Havlin S, Appelbaum L, Ivanov PCh, and Bartsch RP.

Neuronal noise as an origin of sleep arousals and its role in sudden infant death syndrome. [PDF]

Science Advances, 2018:Vol. 4, no. 4, eaar6277

Ivanov PCh, Liu KKL, Lin A and Bartsch RP.

Network Physiology: From Neural Plasticity to Organ Network Interactions.

in "Emergent Complexity from Nonlinearity, in Physics, Engineering and the Life Sciences", [ PDF ]

edited by Mantica G, Stoop R, and Stramaglia S. Springer Proceedings in Physics 191. Pages 145-165 Published: 2017

Ivanov PCh, Liu KKL, and Bartsch RP.

Focus on the emerging new fields of network physiology and network medicine. [ PDF ]

New Journal of Physics, 2016; 18:100201.

Lin A, Liu KKL, Bartsch RP, and Ivanov PCh.

Delay-correlation landscape reveals characteristic time delays of brain rhythms and heart interactions [ PDF ]

Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A, 2016; 374: 20150182.

Bartsch RP, Liu KKL, Bashan A, and Ivanov PCh.

Network Physiology: how organ systems dynamically interact. [ PDF ]

PLOS ONE, 2015; 10(11): e0142143

Liu KKL, Bartsch RP, Lin A, Mantegna RN, and Ivanov PCh.

Plasticity of brain wave network interactions and evolution across physiologic states. [ PDF ]

Frontiers in Neural Circuits, 2015; 9:62

Liu KKL, Bartsch RP, Ma QDY, and Ivanov PCh.

Major component analysis of dynamic networks of physiologic organ interactions.[ PDF ]

Journal of Physics: Conference Series, 2015; 640, 012013

Bartsch RP, Liu KKL, Ma QDY, and Ivanov PCh.

Three independent forms of cardio-respiratory coupling: transitions across sleep stages. [ PDF ]

Computing in Cardiology, 2014; 41:781-784

Bartsch RP and Ivanov PCh.

Coexisting forms of coupling and phase-transitions in physiological networks.[ PDF ]

Communications in Computer and Information Science 2014; 438: 270-287

Bartsch RP, Schumann AY, Kantelhardt JW, Penzel T, Ivanov PCh.

Phase transitions in physiologic coupling. [ PDF ]

(Supporting Information [PDF])

Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2012; 109(26): 10181-10186.

Bashan A, Bartsch RP, Kantelhardt JW, Havlin S, and Ivanov PCh.

Network physiology reveals relations between network topology and physiologic function. [ PDF ]

Nature Communications 2012; 3: 702 doi: 10.1038/ ncomms1705.

Bogdan P, Eke A, and Ivanov Pch.

Editorial: Fractal and Multifractal Facets in the Structure and Dynamics of Physiological Systems and Applications to Homeostatic Control, Disease Diagnosis and Integrated Cyber-Physical Platforms [PDF]

Frontiers in Physiology, 2020; 11: 447